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Karl Dane: A Biography and Filmography Kindle Edition

8 customer reviews

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Length: 240 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Laura Petersen Balogh is a teacher and writer in Madison, New Jersey. Her research on Karl Dane has been published in various magazines across the United States and Denmark.

Product Details

  • File Size: 4238 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: McFarland (August 26, 2009)
  • Publication Date: August 26, 2009
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,347,776 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Old Movie Lover on August 29, 2009
Format: Paperback
As with most people who've died under tragic circumstances, their death seems to somehow overshadow their life. I was guilty of knowing about Karl Dane's end, but the beginning and everything in between was a mystery to me - until now! All I knew about Karl Dane was the widely known story of "he was tossed out of pictures, he ended up selling hot dogs outside the studio gates and he got so depressed he shot himself."

Well, there's SO much more to know and Laura Petersen Balogh covers it all within her book. She gives a thorough, honest and confronting portrayal of Karl Dane - the man - the actor - NOT - the myth!

If you want to know the WHOLE story of Karl Dane's fascinating life and career don't hesitate to buy this book. I really enjoyed it!!! It's well researched and well written, which makes for a very easy read. Fantastic!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By R. Pyle on November 12, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read a number of 'Hollywood biographies' in the recent months, and many of them are very well researched, but the writing has a lack of incisiveness so that the reader is forced to wade through unnecessary waters. Laura Peterson Balogh's biography of Karl Dane is extremely well researched, too, but she has the gift of being able to put the research to work for the reader as well and write with focus, clarity, incisiveness, and still hold interest.

Karl Dane is necessarily interesting as a person. His life is the definition of pathos. He had nothing, then he had it all, and then he had nothing again, and it could be said (from what's written) that he had nothing really when he had it all. He couldn't cope, he made friends sparingly, and, frankly, people didn't understand him, and in the end he committed suicide.

Understanding Hollywood in the 20s and 30s is fascinating to learn, and Balogh does a fine job with few words relating the ruthlessness, the business, the toughness, and the endless attempts at success all had to go through to 'make it' in those days. Dane was caught up in all this in his attempt to succeed in Hollywood, and though he made it for a while, he didn't have the savvy to keep forging ahead after his setbacks. Rather, they defeated him utterly. Balogh takes us through Dane's life, not with pretended psychology and guesses, but with what facts are known about each incident that seemed to have led to his ongoing stuggles. In the end we feel melancholy, sensing the end is near and knowing it won't be pretty.

Still, the sheer dogged research and the good writing make this book the kind that you can't put down. It's not a long tome, but it thoroughly gets the job done. Very highly recommended!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By mwreview on November 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
Through careful and thorough research, Laura Balogh brings to life the story of Karl Dane, a silent movie star who is largely forgotten today. Silent film buffs know him as the tall, goofy-looking comical character in major productions like "The Big Parade" with John Gilbert, "The Son of the Sheik" with Rudolph Valentino, and "The Scarlet Letter" with Lillian Gish while others may only remember his name as a suicide casualty of the Talkies. Balogh wrote to hundreds of people in Dane's home country of Denmark who share his real last name of Gottlieb to find family information and photographs, consulted public documents to outline his travels, marriages and business ventures, and found a wide range of sources (including the unpublished memoirs of Dane's comedy partner George K. Arthur) to bring insight into a man whose life was a bit of a mystery even when he lived.

Balogh found much information about Karl Dane's youth and early adulthood in Denmark. Where there are gaps, Balogh fills in with sources on Danish life back in Dane's day. She is able to dispel many myths about his early days as well as his last months of financial and emotional suffering. Her research actually reveals some information even more eyebrow-raising than those movie magazine myths. Also uncovered is correspondence between Dane and a friend months before his suicide when he was trying to find his riches in gold mining. These telegrams reveal the hard luck and financial straits from which Dane suffered when his movie career dissolved.

In addition, the book includes many rare photographs. Photos include some with the family he left behind when he immigrated to the United States, movie stills, behind-the-scenes images, and candids some of which have never been published before.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lon Davis on October 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
I heartily recommend "Karl Dane: A Biography and Filmography" by Laura Petersen Balogh. Ms. Balogh has done a superb job of documenting this talented but deeply troubled figure from the silent and early-talkie eras. The book, representing several years of exhaustive research, pulls no punches in telling Dane's tragic tale. This was a complex man, far removed from the jovial bumpkin he so memorably portrayed in the classic anti-war feature, "The Big Parade" (1925). He was, in fact, a man of many faults, some of which led to his eventual downfall. The author, however, employs a balanced, compassionate approach in bringing these negative qualities to light. She also provides a searing look at the harsh realities of the motion picture industry in its so-called "Golden Age." In the end, the reader is left with a deep feeling of sympathy for Karl Dane.
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